New Year’s Resolutions … forget about them! Most people make resolutions that are more goals than something they actually resolve and plan to do. For example, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds.” Unfortunately, most of these types of resolutions fail.
There have been many studies and surveys conducted over the years about New Year’s resolutions, and basically, they all share similar findings. Unfortunately, most resolutions will be broken. Anywhere from 80-92% of people will fail. Not to be pessimistic, but the likelihood of success is dramatically trumped by the high possibility of failure. The top resolutions that are broken include:
However, it’s not easy to get over the idea that one year has ended and a new year has begun, subconsciously suggesting that we need to set new goals – or reset failed ones. So, rather than set goals as part of your New Year’s resolutions, many of which will fail (not trying be negative, just realistic), consider a different concept.
Rather than setting a goal to try to reach (or not), consider something more definitive, like … just stop doing something – or start doing something. You have the choice of stopping or starting, not trying to reach a vaguely defined goal. Back to the example of, “I want to lose 10 pounds,” what are you doing (or not) that is preventing you from losing 10 pounds? It could be that you eat too many desserts. So, just stop eating desserts. It’s that simple. However, simple is not always easy. It still takes discipline.
But, this is a business column, so as New Year’s resolutions apply to business, here’s another idea I want you to consider. It’s the concept of starting over. By the way, this can apply to your personal life as well. One of the concepts defining New Year’s resolutions is that you start fresh and try and do something better that will make an improvement in your life. Starting over is about moving on from the past, which could have been good or bad.
I’ll start with the assumption that you had a great year with tremendous success. Even if you didn’t, the concept of starting over still has even more relevance. So, assuming you had a good year, next year is a new year, and most people, whether they know it or not, mentally reset. This is an opportunity to start over and begin anew. It doesn’t matter how good of a year you had, this coming year is a new one.
Here’s an example to illustrate my point. One of my favorite restaurants is Tony’s in St. Louis, Missouri. They have amazing food and amazing customer service. The owner, Vince Bommarito, told me that every day they get phone calls and fan mail about the restaurant, the food and even some of the employees. Every night, just before Tony’s opens its doors for business, he has an all-employee meeting. At the end of the meeting, he shares the guests’ accolades. Then he tells everyone, “This is great, and we should all be proud. Guess what? In five minutes those doors open, and we start over!”
What Vince is saying is that we can’t rest on our laurels. No matter how good we were yesterday, we can’t depend on that happening again by accident. Your fresh start has to be purposeful. Or, maybe the restaurant had a bad night. Don’t let it bring you down. Start over. We need to be conscious of a new opportunity, which in a restaurant is when the guests walk through the doors each night.
Just like Vince believes in starting over every day, we should see crossing over to the new year as a new beginning. And, don’t just be as good as last year. Be even better. As mentioned, if you had a bad year, it’s even more of a reason to start over. So, when you walk back into work after ringing in 2019, recognize that it’s a new year – and a new day – and it’s time to start over.
Finally, as we wrap up this year, my wish for you is that each and every year is better than the last. Have a happy and Amazing New Year!